MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The formula shortage is still ongoing nationwide and the Mobile County Health Department says parents who don’t have government assistance could be seeing the most issues.

I’s not a new issue, the shortage of formula rocking families with infants and babies, but this issue is actually greater here in Mobile County compared to the rest of the state. According to MCHD one of the reasons the shortage has hit our area so hard was because of the number of infants who were on the Similac formula that was recalled, which kick-started this shortage, was more than the entire state combined.

418 infants a part of WIC, Women Infant and Children a supplemental food program was using the recalled formula. Claire Perkins, MCHD registered dietician and WIC director said”Infants that aren’t on these highly specialized formulas we are just trying to find something in stock. What can we safely transition them to that’s easy to find. Infants that were on these specialty formulas we referred them back to their doctors. Ask your doctor what’s safe and we’ll do our best to get it.”

WIC makes up 50 percent of formula purchasing nationwide. The eligibility for a family of 4 is an income cap of 49K….but those parents not at that mark they don’t have this same assistance. “Parents that aren’t on the WIC program are probably having a harder time. because we have been able as best, we can to change formula, order formula, you know it hasn’t been perfect but we’ve done what we can.” Perkins said “If you aren’t on the WIC program it is a lot harder. My recommendation is to talk to your doctor sometimes the doctors might have an idea of what’s a better formula to try, where’s a better place to buy it.”

When it comes to older infants, there may be other options like the transition to whole milk or real foods. Though Breastfeeding isn’t an option for some, the health department is pushing that especially for expecting mothers…those participating in the WIC program can be provided with a lactation consultant.

The recommendations are the same for what we’ve heard though…DO NOT dilute formula as it could cause Kidney damage and don’t use milk unless recommended by a doctor as the iron intake could be too low. MCHD says it’s going to a marathon, not a sprint for finding these alternatives because her office has been told this could last up to a year.